You take the black umbrella to bed
convinced its simple twist and snap
will wash over you, hold back the walls
that last the way the blind unfold their arms
around the night they know better than you
—you will die holding on
while the sheets make room for the darkness
your heart is used to, opening and closing
little by little, waiting for rain.
Review by Massimo Fantuzzi
The lengths we are prepared to travel in order to protect the little we have really defy every logic.
A poem about how folly beliefs blind more than darkness, and fear scare and incapacitate more than the feared object itself; a poem about our irrational run/need for the antidote that, again, will do more damage than the poison itself (especially when our heart was already accustomed to it).
Leave your bed crowded with false prophesies and superstitions, heart on hand, go and unravel, go and uncover, go and get wet.
“As Renzo passed without the walls of the lazaretto, the rain began to fall in torrents. Instead of lamenting, he rejoiced at it: he was delighted with the refreshing air, and with the sound of the falling drops from the plants and foliage which seemed to have new life imparted to them; and breathing more freely in this change of nature, he felt more vividly the change that had occurred in his own destiny” (Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed, chapter XXVI).
Review by Jared Pearce
It’s wonderful, the way the images in this poem echo each other and, by doing so, become each other. The umbrella is the darkness, the arms, the heart with its pulsing valves. And all these things are looking for purpose, meaning, something to be about, use. Because the poem builds toward that needing of purpose so intently, the opposite becomes chillingly worrisome. A beautiful poem.